A Travellerspoint blog

Netherlands

August 17th

Windsor Castle, Stonehenge & Bath

25 °C

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Today I boarded the bus in London central at 8am to start the tour of Windsor Castle, Stonehenge & Bath. We headed off at about 9am from the actual tour head quarters. It turned out to be a bit of a rush to fit all three places in in one day as it doesn't allow much time for each place. We arrived at Windsor Castle and as usual with castles youre not allowed to take pictures inside. I have a couple of pictures of the outside but thats about it i'm afraid. There were coats of armour, pictures galore... one of them is reputably worth one hundred million. There were hundreds of old fashioned pistols, swords, guns etc! Rooms and rooms with gold trim... 22 carrot. The china was absolutely incredible as was the dolls house. The dolls house had full electrics, plumbing etc! Well... when i looked down at my watch I realised what the time was and ran all the way back to the bus and made it just in time. We then headed towards stonehenge and stopped off for a lunch on the way. I had roast pork and sticky toffee pudding with ice scream. After lunch we headed off for Stonehenge which was built apparently 6000 years ago... Adam must have been a very strong man!
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There were more tourists there then I have seen for quite some time! I took some pictures and then we hit the road again for Bath. This was were I really wanted to go! We had 3/4's of an hour to ourselves which is no where near long enough. In that short time I checked out the Bath Abbey, the BAth bridge and just made it back in time to visit the Roman Baths. This in itself requires at least 3 hours but we rushed through in 3/4's of an hour! :-) I hope to get back there when I return. Here are the pics!
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Posted by classique 14:38 Archived in Netherlands Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

July 23rd to August 4th

Stuff

semi-overcast 20 °C

Well during this time I finished painting the Henks shed behind the Optiek shop. I also went shopping with Marijke, helped out with a Rotary Student Exchange evening, went to several birthday parties, many dinner parties, the beach, and other stuff!
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I also went go karting with Gecko, Hendri and Rob on monday the 3rd of August. It was absolutely awesome as it was the first time behind the wheel fro quite some time and well... it just rocked!!! Top speed was about 56Kph and I got 6th in the time record for the month. At one stage i hit a corner at full speed, locked the brakes and hit the wall at about 40Kph sideways which as usual has caused quite a nice bruise on my hip. We did 4 sessions of 15 minutes and with the tyres hot it stuck to the track like glue! Once again it was an absolutely awesome night topped off with a nice cuban, i think, cigar with Lenneke!
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Posted by classique 12:26 Archived in Netherlands Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Dads School

overcast 20 °C

Posted by classique 12:30 Archived in Netherlands Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

July 23rd

Tracing dad

all seasons in one day 20 °C

Today, Henk , Marijke and I headed to Boskoop and dropped into the state house to request information on where my dad was born. While waiting for this information we headed down to a café for a quick drink. We did not have long to wait and we were on our way to see three different places where the de Bruin family had lived in Boskoop. Dad was 6 months old when they left Boskoop and this house and others have since been bulldozed and replaced with flats. One of the houses was in the main thourough fair and had a shop underneath but we are unsure as to what it was used for. The last remaining house has either been bulldozed as well or we managed to find it and were given a tour through. The house we were invited into was either one of their old houses or one of the houses owned by my grand mother’s sisters. Boskoop is an extrodinary place with more canals then roads. It is a tree growing town and as such they have dug canals and ditches everywhere so they do not need to irrigate the trees.
We then headed to Amsterdam to see… Tuntje Rietje!
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We arrived at about 2:30PM and devoured our lunch! Tante Rietje very kindly had gone through her collection of pictures and gave me my own personal album, all with pictures of dad and one of Oma and one of Opa. I have pictures of dad on his Norton as a part of a bike club, pictures of him playing the organ etc. I also have another photo album which I plan to scan with all the pictures of Dad, Mum, Richard, Tanya, Denise and Paul both when they were on holiday in the Netherlands and also an assortment from New Zealand! I have a quick video here of Tante Rietje’s Appartment, both inside and the outside view. Please tell me, who was it that closed the flue at Uncle Geerards place when they were on Holiday here? Apparently, Mum, Dad, Uncle Geerard, Marijke etc came home to a house filled with smoke and nobody knew who had done it!!! :-0 Tante Rietja brought out some sweets which turned out to be the most delicious caramel I have ever tasted. I mentioned this and she immediately got up, went to the kitchen, grabbed a plastic bag and emptied the remaining caramels into the bag and gave them to me! After a chat we headed out with Tanje Rietja to Harleem to see the houses, yes another 3, and the school where dad and his brothers and sisters grew up. I have pictures of one of them here. Opa_s_last_house.jpg
As we were looking at the last house where Opa and Oma had lived the owner came home and took us through the bottom level. I have a quick video of he back yard, sun room and lounge room. Apparently dad left the Netherlands with Jan when he was 21. They were headed to New Zealand for one year and then would come back. They got free boat tickets over and were to work for one year with a specific company. Unfortunately, as it turned out, Dad had to work in the North Island and Jan in the South. After one year dad decided that he liked New Zealand more then the Netherlands so he stayed on. I asked why they had never moved back to the Netherlands and Tantje Rietje said that the whole family had tried to talk them into staying after their holiday but that dad felt God had spoken to him and that he was to go to the country that God directed him to! Which must have been New Zealand I guess. Dads mum died when he was ten and Tantje Jenny and Tantje Rietje took over the house/family keeping. Dads father ended up marrying the house keeper some years later… Maybe it was cheaper then paying her :-) and Dad grew very close with his second mother!

Tantje Rietje says hello to Richard, Tanya, Denise and Paul and passes on her love to us!!!

We then headed to Bloomingdale which is right on the coast and had dinner all together at a restaurant right on the north sea beach. I was a really great feed and the view and conversation was great too! On the way back to Amsterdam we dropped by Uncle Geerards old house where Marijke grew up before moving to Nunspeet and I was able to see the lake where they used to go Ice skating in winter. I will endeavor to get some of the pictures from Tantje Rietje scanned and online soon!

Posted by classique 14:03 Archived in Netherlands Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

July 20th - 22nd

semi-overcast 18 °C

Since the 20th I have been working on Henks shed which is situated behind his shop. I have replaced the rotted out boards on the edge of the roof, sanding the shed to remove the dust and flaky paint. I have since painted about half of it. I have also cleaned most of the fungus build up on the tiles and cleaned the gutters.

On the 22nd of July we headed to a little place called Verhouten which had a sort of market going on. It is a very small town with about 400 residents and at least 8 restaurants, I think more though. All of the restaurants were holding a tasting session where you could buy 1 rack of ribs for 1 Euro and many other delicious treats. They had a DJ backing the event as well. After a quick visit to this event we headed to a house of a friend of Henk and Marijke to have our own tasting event. There were about 20 people invited and we ate appertisers matched with wines from Germany, France and Italy for the rest of the evening. I was an amazing evening!

Posted by classique 13:47 Archived in Netherlands Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

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